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Thread: Relevance of MUP degree to real estate developer

  1. #1
    Jan 2009
    Washington, DC

    Relevance of MUP degree to real estate developer

    I'll try to be brief. I work for a real estate developer in Washington DC primarily focused on high density mixed-use urban infill projects (current project is apartment, hotel, grocery, office, retail). I have discussed with my superiors my desire to pursue a Masters Degree part time (Undergraduate degree is a B.S in Architecture from UMD). Initially I looked at some MRED degrees (Johns Hopkins/UMD) and MBA programs in the area. I ended up pitching the idea of going back for an MBA with a focus in Real Estate (George Washington) and they were supportive of this pursuit (i.e. some level of tuition reimbursement).

    As I have further researched and investigated the classes, educational material, format, etc of the MBA program I have firmly come to the conclusion that it is not the path that I want to pursue (more interested in the design and process management than purely the numbers and the people management aspects). I have begun to learn more about MUP planning programs in the area (VT-Alexandria, Catholic, UMD) and am confident that a Planning degree is the path that I want to take. I am leaning towards VT-Alexandria currently and would start Fall '09.

    I am passionate about housing/community/economic development and transportation planning issues. I know that this knowledge/skill set will benefit me and and make me a greater asset to my company (the reason they would invest in my education) but I am having trouble articulating the benefits/relevance of a MUP degree to a real estate developer (the MBA is an easily quantifiable educational "commodity"). I am going to try to sell this switch from the MBA track to the MUP track to my boss and any thoughts on the benefit of an MUP against and MBA as it relates to Real Estate Development would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your advice and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian drjb's avatar
    Sep 2006
    Los Angeles
    With an MUP, you will receive a more holistic understanding of real estate development relative to an MBA. You will learn about the design aspects (both macro and micro scales), community aspects, government relations aspects and quantitative aspects of real estate development. With an MBA, you will get a greater sense of the quantitative aspects, I presume, but will not achieve as diverse a knowledge set as someone with an MUP.

    At least this is what I have seen in the real estate development field.

    Good luck.

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